The future of gambling looks bright

Price Waterhouse Coopers the leading international auditing, assurance, advisory and tax services firm has submitted a report on worldwide casino and online gaming market. And they forecast an annual rate growth of 9.2% over the next five years to $182.8 billion by 2015.

As per PWC’s predictions, US casino and online gambling activities will increase by 5% from $57.5 billion in 2010 to $73.3 billion in 2015. As for the Asia Pacific sector, it will register a massive growth of 18.3% rising to $79.3 billion in five years. And with such an advance, they will become the world’s largest regional market, beating the US to it.

PWC says that the casino gaming industry was hit hard in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Revenues went downwards by 12% in 2009 and in 2010; it was 7.2% which marks their third successive regress.

PWC believes revenues in Europe, the Middle East and Asia will attain $18.3 billion in 2015, which is up from $16.3 billion in 2010 with an average annual increase of 2.4%. Due to unstable economic conditions and regulatory changes in some countries, all this will definitely limit growth.

As for online gaming, PWC commented that this business has been ever changing as lawmakers have been trying to make it into a regulated sector. The problem with online gaming is that it has long been populated with companies operating illegally in jurisdictions where their activity could not be assessed.

PWC pointed out that legal online gaming takes places mostly in Europe, the Middle East and Asia with the UK being the largest single market. The online gaming business is quite chaotic as it has to deal with misinterpretations of its regulations by operators and that too depending in which jurisdiction they belong to. There is also the fact that policies depend from country to country. Added to this is trying to find the fine line between online gaming and mobile gaming.

Many European countries have made the step to setting up a clear set of regulations so that the online gaming business, especially poker and sports betting, prevails in a total legal environment. Spain, Denmark, Greece, Bulgaria, Germany and Hungary have all taken such measures this year itself.  But this step is not an easy one and might take longer to become a reality as it is faced with the fact that those countries need to in turn abide to the European Union laws.

With the difficult economic status, countries want to find solutions and are therefore looking into any possible venture. And one of those is the legalization and licensing of online gaming, which in turn will provide taxation on revenue. Illegal business means all revenue will go to the operator, whereas with regulated companies, a certain amount will benefit the country in terms of tax. As for the UK, PWC said that they will modify their regulations in order to ensure that no funds derived from online gaming is lost to offshore jurisdictions.

The gaming world, whether physical or online, is ever growing and more businesses are willing to invest in such a money making industry. The only difference between those companies would be what they can offer players in terms of gaming experience. Should those companies know how to keep their players entertained, they will hear the jackpot ringing!